A 3.8% Saaz table beer. In the 1800’s, funky, hoppy table beers were a very Scottish thing, and Saaz was a favourite variety of the producers who made them. Siphonaptera draws inspiration from this tradition.
It is pale in colour and fluffy in foam. On the nose, there are notes of overripe lemon tea, honeysuckle, beeswax and violets. On the palate, it is airily light with a clean, snappy bitterness. Just the ticket for unreasonably hot weather.
The name is a reference to a poem by the great logician, Augustus de Morgan, about an infinite regress of increasingly small fleas. He used it to illustrate the idea that every particle in the universe might be made up of smaller particles, and so on, all the way down. Since some of our other, bigger beers have ended up with quite infinitary names, this seemed appropriate for a little table beer. An excerpt:
“Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”
Interestingly, there are some contemporary philosophers and physicists who defend a version of a view called ‘Ontic Structural Realism’ according to which this picture is more or less right (minus the fleas). The more you know!